Company Funding; Johnson Crapo Update; Why CEOs Don't Rely on Interest Rate Predictions
so many economic indicators that flood my email account each month, I
hate to introduce another one for fear of paralysis. However, I will
pass along this one simply due to its originator, the Federal Reserve
Bank of Chicago and its CFNAI.
The Chicago Federal National Activity Index is a monthly index of U.S.
economic activity constructed from 85 data series (or indicators)
classified into four groups: production and income; employment,
unemployment, and hours; personal consumption and housing; and sales,
orders, and inventories. Much of its current value derives from its
ability to capture U.S. business cycles, and the current reading is
"mixed". It's an economic indicator not for the faint of heart, but
rather for the economist we all know is hiding deep down in our psyche,
which may occasionally ask questions like, "If me and the post-close gal
were caught stealing the last two cupcakes from the break room..." (FYI,
always be the first one to confess...don't ask me how I know this.)
Lenders, and most of the economy, run on capital. 10 Mile Capital is a U.S. based specialty finance company that provides capital to build and grow great mortgage banks. Qualified mortgage banks can receive up to $10 million of non-dilutive capital to acquire
loan originators, open new origination channels, retain servicing, or
pursue other business expansion opportunities. If you are an independent
mortgage bank needing capital to expand your business, please contact
Tim McAvenia, Senior Vice President, at tim.mcavenia@10milecapital. com. ("We are not an investment bank or a broker. We do not seek control or ownership of the companies that we finance.")
you fans of Congress, the Senate Banking Committee has a markup on S.
1217, Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 today
at 10AM EST. The bill is expected to pass out of the Committee but due
to not getting more Democratic support Senate Majority Leader Reid is not likely to schedule a vote on Johnson Crapo by the full Senate.
"Meetings: None of us is as dumb as all of us." Remember all those smart folks who said rates were going higher this year? Well, so far they're dead wrong.
That may change, of course, but if any of them put their money where
their mouths were, well, they'll have to keep working like everyone
else. Nothing is more natural than speculating on the future, especially
because no one knows what will happen in the future. And when there is
uncertainty (and when isn't there?), economic pundits strive to
differentiate themselves from others. And why not - there is nothing to
be gained from saying what everyone else is saying. And when was the
last time you heard "one of the smartest guys in the room" say that they
didn't know enough to even venture a guess? Wouldn't that be cool if
those that made a living out of predicting the future suffered every
time they guessed incorrectly? Stock analysts, or those that trade their
own positions, jump to mind. I've been telling groups for a few months
that rates could very well be exactly here in six months, but few will
remember that. So I do what I can to educate folks why I think that - it
is important to think for oneself, and know what moves the markets.
all, unfortunately, have an appetite for dramatic predictions. How did
that work out for the Mayans? Or the Branch Davidians? Experts who claim
to be more certain about the future are more in demand in the media, in
spite of being less likely to be correct. I know of plenty of people
who refuse to watch CNBC because of this phenomenon. Often times when
someone claims they know what a stock is going to do, or where interest
rates are heading, people give them more credibility than those who
admit that they can't predict the future, even when the latter were just
media doesn't help. Mistaken forecasts are rarely mentioned (Bill Gross
and Meredith Whitney have made some major incorrect predictions) so
there's little downside to being bold and wrong unless their own money
is at stake. In fact, if you're right the rewards can be immense - maybe
they write a book about you, or even a movie. One great prediction can
allow "the expert" to live off their success for a long time. But is it
repeatable? On the trading desk we told clients, when they asked about
where rates were going, "Hey, if I knew that, I'd be on a beach
somewhere." Being able to predict where the markets are going, in any kind of repeatable manner, is nearly impossible
- but teaching people about making their own minds up is very important
(for me). People wonder what I do in my off hours: here is a paper on
this very topic by Jerker Denrell and Christina Fang. It says that anyone who predicted an extreme event had worse overall forecasting records than their peers.
when you look at the CEOs and CFOs of major lenders, think about it:
they typically plan for the worst, hope for the best, and do their
day-to-day work regardless of where rates go. Few take chances when it comes to the markets. Pipeline hedgers advocate "sticking to the model" and being flat. CEOs are better at predicting trends than they are where rates are going.
But there are big rewards when someone makes an extreme prediction and
it turns out to be right. And success tends to breed overconfidence. But
rarely do CEOs stick their necks out - there is too much at stake, like
the future of their employees and companies. And
thus they watch for trends, focus their employees on performance and
improving the here and now, and let the "smartest guys in the room" take
random stabs on where rates are going.
of looking at things globally, and the role that compliance occupies, I
received this note. "Mercury Network just published another white paper
and this one will be really valuable for anyone as the industry gears
up for Third-Party Oversight in appraisal operations.
Last year, both the CFPB and The OCC issued new bulletins to emphasize
their requirements for third-party oversight, and also made it clear
that lenders are liable for their service providers. We've already gone
through several audits with big lenders, so we can share some best
practices and questions to ask so lenders avoid pitfalls with service
providers. We included 14 recommendations for what to look for in a
reliable partner for compliance with the new requirements." The new
white paper is free here: Third-Party Oversight Requirements.
this note. "With originators still recovering from last January, the
confusion surrounding the already finalized Dodd-Frank rules remains
outstanding. With 24.6% of Dodd Frank rules yet to be written, it's
clear that we may be in for more surprises yet. In this article, we've
created 10 points to summarize some of the principal aspects of Dodd
Frank as it relates to mortgage originators: 'Dodd Frank Wiki [An Originator's Cheat Sheet]'. Thank you Cody Miles at MortgageDashboard.
On to a little lender and investor news!
First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation
(FGMC), a Virginia Corporation, announced today that Marla Grassgreen
has joined the company as Director - USDA Program Manager.
And congrats to Ed Abufaris! Amerisave Mortgage Corporation
announced that Ed Abufaris has been named as President. Ed joined
Amerisave in January 2011 as Executive Vice President of Wholesale and
Correspondent Lending and is credited with the continued success of the
TPO channel. In 2012 he was promoted to Executive Vice President of Sales, leading both the TPO and Retail sales teams. Ed has also been a member of the Amerisave Senior Leadership team since joining the company.
Regarding the current credit environment,
I received this note. "Many companies have decided to go the route of
taking more credit risk. Price is on the top of every secondary
manager's mind when determining where to send loans. This may be very
short-sighted! The most important part of making loans to borrowers with
lower credit scores comes after the loan closes; when the loan is
serviced. First Mortgage Corporation,
with 40 years of experience serving the borrowing needs of the
low-to-moderate income borrower, excels at servicing government loans
with risk-layering. Price has no value if the loans are not
well-serviced and you end up with EPD's and repurchase demands. FMC's
seriously delinquent rate for these most challenging FHA/VA loans is
just 3.03%, compared to the top 20 FHA Servicers at 7.67%. Traditional
FHA borrowers require "high touch", and FMC prides itself on
overstaffing its servicing department to meet the needs of the
underserved. Many of the players in the space today allow these loans to
be subserviced which can lead to increased defaults. Who would you
rather have service your toughest FHA loans?" (Contact Sharon Magnuson
at Correspondent@FirstMortgage.com for more information.)
besides confusing spell checkers and auto-capitalization software,
reminded the industry that it "will pursue a different business model
than its predecessor, which was primarily a direct-to-consumer provider.
The company will use three sales channels for its mortgage and
refinance loans: direct-to-consumer, via a website and 800-number,
retail, via nearly 200 loan specialists located throughout the country,
and the correspondent market, partnering with 600+ financial
institutions. (The ditech brand originated in 1995 when the name came
from a combination of "Direct" and "Technology." See? And you think you
don't learn anything new.)
M&T Bank correspondent released its product bulletin 2014-014 addressing Declining Markets & CEMA effective May 7th.
Its recently published declining market list is being withdrawn and
reverting back to the published list from July 2013. For M&T
treasury programs, use the 03-031 exhibit from July 2013 until further
notice. The bulletin also reiterates the requirement of the NMLS number
on the CEMA document. Disaster area alerts have been updated for
Arkansas, Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. For questions or
clarification, contact your account executive.
the markets, as one trader put it, "The 10yr went out at 2.54%, after
going as low as 2.52% earlier today (lowest yield on 10yr this year)
with FN3.5's finishing the day 5+ ticks tighter to the 5yr & 1+ tick
tighter to the 10yr." What does that mean? It means that rates are
lower than earlier in the week, and that while supply from mortgage
bankers is lagging the demand is strong, and so their prices improved
more than "ordinary" Treasury securities. Yesterday's price movement was
attributed by Thomson Reuters to "strengthened
expectations that the ECB will announce further accommodation at its
June meeting, including a cut in its benchmark rate, in response to low
inflation." Agency MBS prices are at their best levels since Halloween, but loan level price adjustments and gfees have changed since then.
It is pretty darned early, and I'm due to a speaking engagement to WAMP
in Seattle I had to send this out prior to news coming out. But we can
all look forward to the April Consumer Price Index (expected +0.3%), the
May Empire State Manufacturing Survey, and Initial Jobless Claims
(expected unchanged at 319k). And then at 9:15 EST we'll have April
Industrial Production (+0.1 versus +0.7 last) and Capacity Utilization
(unchanged at 79.2) and then May homebuilder sentiment (+2 to 49) and
the May Philly Fed Index. In the early going the fixed income market, and rates, are unchanged from Wednesday's closing levels.